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For centuries, many cultures have portrayed cheek dimples as a reflection of the ultimate heroism in a person. This is no different in fiction. In the same way high cheekbones clue the audience that a character is sinister or not to be trusted, cheek dimples tell them there is goodness in this character. No matter the length, width, shape, position or depth, dimples can show the character's innocence (especially if they're young), their positive morals, or Anti-Hero roguishness.
In-universe, other characters may point the dimples out or compliment them, due to the Rule of Cute. The dimpled character in question might point them out themselves or feel like they're Blessed with Suck, especially if they're the only recurring character with them. They might notice how manipulative their face dents are and use them to trick others with feign innocence.
Interestingly, as sacred and revered cheek dimples are, they are not an extremely rare trait in real life. In animation or illustrations, facial lines are used sparingly in danger of making a character look wrinklier than warranted or an easier way to show a character's age; distinct dimples in a character's cheeks indicate a purposeful design. In real life, it's debated that about 20% of the human population has them (compared to an estimated 2-6% of people with red hair, for example), and studies suggest some people born without can develop them as they age. Since cheek dimples are placed under conventional attractiveness, thanks to tropes like Hollywood Homely, expect many live-action characters of any morality to fit the bill, so make sure the character with dimples applies to points mentioned above before adding your example.
- Shazam is almost never seen without his cheek dimples, as well as his alter ego Billy Batson. Other superhero characters vary on whether the comic artist had time/remembered to draw the dimples in, but Shazam's are common enough to be a trademark of his.
- Desperate Dan in The Dandy is a giant, intimidating-looking cowboy, but his cheek dimples highlight his good faith—especially because he's extremely clumsy.
- Blackhawk takes this Up to Eleven; almost all the members of the eponymous team have dimples.
- 1978's Superman ironically lampshades the dimples the eponymous character had in the comics (albeit Depending on the Artist). When Lex Luthor's assistant/henchwoman Miss Teschmacher describes their enemy by pointing them out and calling him cute, it seems to convince Lex Luthor to begin Superman's torturing.
- Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles is the only superhero main character with dimples in both cheeks, possibly a nod to classic comic book characters and how long it's been since he and others went into hiding.
- Irene Dunne spent her entire movie career playing good characters, with dimples to match.
- Fittingly, both the 1920 and 1940 versions of The Mark of Zorro respectively starred dimpled actors Douglas Fairbanks and Tyrone Power as the eponymous hero.
- Five Easy Pieces features Betty recalling a conversation about dimples with her mother. When she was four, she asked her mother why she had a "hole" in her chin. Her mother explained that when everyone is born, they are put on a conveyor belt in front of God. Then, God pokes a finger in the chin of people He's uninterested in, creating a cleft chin, and pinches the cheeks of people He finds cute, giving them dimpled cheeks.
- The human man Ariel falls in love with in The Little Mermaid, Prince Eric, is a tall, dark and handsomely dimpled nice guy.
- As the God of Mischief, Loki's dimples in the Marvel Cinematic Universe imply his roguish dubiousness and frequent double-crossing of many around him.
- The Nth Doctor-like franchise run of the James Bond films led to some actors (notably Sean Connery)'s natural genetics adding to Bond's heroism, attractiveness and his mischievous sexual exploits on the job.
- In The Little Colonel, Colonel Gray quips to Lloyd that her dimples made her cute enough to capture an entire regiment as successfully as any weapon or army.
- Criminal-in-hiding Babe Stewart in No Man of Her Own unintentionally convinces Connie of his charms because of his dents, shown when Connie gushes to her co-worker about how this already-attractive man has "lovely dimples" when he smiles.
- The eponymous main character of Coco mentions to his family that he finds it weird how he has a dimple in one cheek and not both cheeks.
- To distract her parents from asking invasive questions about her romantic life at the family Christmas gathering, Trudy in Holiday in Handcuffs plans to pair up with a dimpled handsome man as soon as she can (according to her, a man with dimples would be a more convincing boyfriend than a man without). Luckily for her, minutes later, she bumps into a tall, dark and handsome man with dimpled cheeks in a store, so she kidnaps him at gunpoint.
- Scarlett in Gone with the Wind exploits this trope by consciously smiling demurely at potential suitors to show her dimple off. Rhett is the only man who notices this, later confronting her when she tries to involve herself in conflicts considered out of her depth, and tells her to stick to what she knows: dances and dimples.
- Conversed in this exchange from Dean Koontz's Deeply Odd:
Odd Thomas: It's funny, ma'am, how sometimes you're so sarcastic but it doesn't sting.
- The eponymous Anne of Anne of Green Gables wishes she had dimpled cheeks like Diana, and compliments Mrs. Allan's.
- Wives and Daughters mentions that if Molly (who is looking in the mirror, worrying about her beauty) were to smile, she'd instantly feel better upon seeing "the gleam of her teeth, and the charm of her dimples".
- Al the hero cop from Unforgettable. In the episode "True Identity", his dimples are mentioned by Gwen when she convinces him to attend a mixer where a duchess will be. Later in the episode, Gwen refuses to hand over her company's client list, so Al tries to convince her by telling her to "look at my dimples", implying he looks innocent enough to get what he wants, regardless.
Al: Oh, come on. Play nice. Look at my dimples. You know we'll just get a subpoena anyway.
- The eponymous leading duo of Buddy Cop Show Rizzoli & Isles.
- The CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "Iced" uses the Rule of Cute factor when agent Warrick mentions he got much attention from girls in high school. Catherine says it makes no sense because he always claimed he was "a dork" back then, but Warrick replies his dimples helped him a lot, even if he didn't get as much attention as his "cooler" peers.
- CSI: Miami's Detective Jesse Cardoza's dimples are lampshaded by a witness he and colleague Calleigh interview in "Dude, Where's My Groom?", much to Jesse's embarrassment and Calleigh's amusement. When the interview finishes, the witness suggests interviewing her boss next before leaning in flirtatiously, calling him Dimples and walking away with a smirk. Flustered, Jesse decides to interview other witnesses, but not before a tickled Calleigh asks Dimples what he wants to do next.
- Demon hunting hero Sam Winchester in Supernatural.
- The heroic detective Thomas Magnum in Magnum, P.I., which also helps enhance his Mr. Fanservice appeal in and out-of-universe.
- Cat Valentine in Victorious, who is naïve and The Ditz of the cast.
- The eponymous Supergirl's early-seasons ally, police detective Maggie Sawyer. She even earned the Fan Nickname "Detective Dimples".
- Eminem's "White America" briefly uses this trope as part of the track's theme of pointing out systemic racism and biases in American society.
Look at these eyes, baby blue, baby just like yourself
Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends
- Gerry Anderson seems to be a fan of this trope, judging by its frequency in his Supermarionation works.
- Police detective Sebastian Castellanos in The Evil Within has dimpled cheeks that add to his heroism, especially in the sequel. He doesn't smile much because he's a serious man (and a tortured alcoholic much later), but they're deep enough to still crease his cheeks when he's stopped talking.
- Resident Evil 5's versions of Chris Redfield and Albert Wesker have long, wide and shallow dimples. Chris is the hero and Albert is the villain, but Albert's life-long experimentations and getting vaccinated with modified viruses has made him a conventionally attractive superhuman, and (as he discovered years before) a successful creation of an ideal man.
- In Archer, Cyril has the innocent type, whereas the eponymous Archer has the roguish type. Barry Dylan's is a mixture of the former two's: an anti-heroic Casanova Wannabe who is often humiliated by other characters; and has Man Child tendencies.
- William Shakespeare's sonnet Venus and Adonis portrays Adonis as strong and heroic, and his dimples make him even more attractive. After failing to flirt with him, Venus gets distracted by them when he grimaces back at her words, and forgets how annoyed his silent rejection made her.
- Santa has "merry" dimples in A Visit from St. Nicholas.